The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA) has reaffirmed its commitment to partner the Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Rivers State Command to strengthen the frontier of diligent business activities and eliminate invasion of certain regulations within the ports in the state.
President, PHCCIMA, Sir Mike Elechi, who stated this when he led a delegation of the Chamber Executive on a courtesy visit to the Customs Area Comptroller, Area Two Command, Onne Port, Rivers State, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, said the chamber was also poised to work concertedly with the command to add value in its operation.
While describing Nigeria Customs Service as a gate keeper of the country, Elechi expressed dismay, altitude of some importers and exporters who obtain Certificate of Origin from any Chamber of Commerce outside Port Harcourt instead of the one issued by the City of Origin, and urged the command to collaborate with PHCCIMA to check the trend in the state.
The PHCCIMA president also told Mohammed that not all individuals that criss-cross Onne Port are bona fide members of the chamber, pointing out that they would work with the command to identify genuine members, as according to him, members of the chamber indulge in a legitimate and diligent businesses and never cut corners.
Elechi was well impressed with the visit, which he described as the best courtesy visit ever since his assumption of office, and thanked the comptroller and his deputies for their warm reception and high level operational capacity presentations.
Responding, the Customs Area Comptroller, Area 2 Command, Onne Port, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed welcomed the president and the delegation to his command, asserting that his command would synergise and partner PHCCIMA to entrench legitimate import and export business activities in the state and the country, describing the visit as first in the annals of the command.
Mohammed while declaring open an interactive session during the visit, emphasised that the current Onne Port under his leadership runs an open door policy in line with its statutory functions to facilitate trade operations, remove bottlenecks that hinder the Federal Government policy on ease of doing business as well as encourage patronage of Onne Port with a view to facilitating legitimate trade within the port by constantly holding stakeholders’ enlightenment forum, and commended PHCCIMA Executive for the visit.
The area comptroller and his deputies during the interactive session, spoke extensively on their concerted efforts to make import and export operations easier for operators at the port, and advised the port operators to make good use of the Customs Fast Track Scheme to facilitate their activities and the Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee of the command to resolve their challenges.
He assured Elechi and his delegation of his command’s commitment in quick resolution of operational matters, and promised to harmonise the issue of Certificates of Origin in the command.
Mohammed presented plaque of Award of Excellence to Elechi for his outstanding performance in the development of the chamber.
The chamber president also reciprocated by presenting a souvenir to the customs area comptroller.
Other distinguished members of the president’s entourage on the visit include the 2nd Deputy President, Prince Charles Beke; Publicity Secretary, Pastor Uche Onochie; elected council member, Chief Emeka Ezekwe; the President General, National Shippers Association of Nigeria and Chairman of Professional Services and Consultancy Trade Group of the Chamber, Engr. Innocent Akuvue; member of Financial Services Trade Group and Principal Partner of Madu, Onyekwena & Co. Chartered Accountants, Sir Sampson Madu; Nigeria Shippers Council Officer, Mrs. Patricia Osuma; and the Director General, Mr. Erasmus Chukunda.
2023: Nigeria Needs Clean Leaders-Expert
An environmental consultant in Rivers State, Pali- Alabo Maxwell Fubara has urged Nigerians to avoid those who are part of Nigeria’s rot while voting in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking with The Tide recently in Port Harcourt on the 2023 general elections and the place of good governance, Fubara said avoiding such people is a step towards rescuing the country.
According to him, Nigerians cannot afford to choose the next president from among those who have made a career of living in government since 1999, and expect positive changes in their lives in the country.
He said, “The truth is that some of those who have stayed too long in the status quo have become part of the corrupt system, and it is an illusion to expect corruption to fight corruption”.
Fubara, a former State Assistant Public Relations Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) argued that a corrupt system cannot fight corruption, and so the nation needs clean, God-fearing, and caring leaders with vast leadership expertise and exposure to emerge in 2023 from the past failures to break the shacles of the rot in order to move forward.
Fubara noted that either in the PDP, APC or other political parties, those whose only duty has been to change from one government office to another and have never done any other productive thing apart from squandering government and public funds, driving convoys of cars around that they do not fuel themselves, escorted by security paid for by government are far removed from the realities of Nigeria, and are therefore incapable of comprehending the urgency and depth of development Nigerians need currently.
“I laugh when I read about someone who has never set up even a barber shop in his or her life promising young people employment.”
These are people who do not understand how business run.
“ The solution to national security challenges, the unemployment problem, high cost of petroleum products and basic items requires new approach to handle, which those who have never paid for anything they consume in the past 23years running cannot understand.”
The image-maker who said that what attributed him to the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) was Governor Nyesom Wike’s belief that corruption must be crushed in Rivers State.
Ahead of the 2023 general polls, Fubara advised politicians, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the electorate to play the game based on level playing ground, where peace and tranquility would be sustained.
He enjoined them to see election next year as not a do or die affairs, rather do the needful by working towards better Nigeria “Our Founding Fathers Fought For”.
By: Bethel Toby & Oribim Ibama
Navy Rescues Seven Victims From Kidnappers
The Nigeria Navy has said it has rescued seven male victims who were abducted on May 10 by sea pirates off the coast of Bonny Island in Rivers.
The Tide’s source reports the seven passengers were transiting to Port Harcourt from Bonny when their commercial boat was intercepted and the victims abducted by pirates.
Commodore Suleiman Ibrahim, the Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, Port Harcourt presented the rescued victims before newsmen on Tuesday at the naval headquarters in Port Harcourt.
He said the kidnappers, after intercepting the commercial boat, diverted it to an unknown location inside the thick swampy forest of the State.
“After the pirates kidnapped the passengers on May 10 along Bonny Channel, near Yellow Platform, we (NNS Pathfinder) immediately mobilised and started tracking to identify the abductors.
“Through intelligence gathering, we were able to identify one Mr Victor Padei, who intelligence revealed masterminded the abductions.
“Thereafter, we mobilised troops and stormed his camp (in Rivers). Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at the camp, Padei had already relocated with his victims.
“Padei knows the terrain very well and he deploys his local informants who give him information on the movement of troops”, he said.
Ibrahim stated further that reconnaissance was conducted to determine the whereabouts of fleeing abductors which revealed the suspects relocated to another camp in Bayelsa.
“Again, we mobilised personnel in collaboration with our naval base in Bayelsa to raid the kidnapper’s camp but unfortunately they have already relocated with the victims before we got there.
“However, intelligence later discovered another camp in Bayelsa where kidnappers held the victims against their will.
“Upon storming the kidnappers’ den, we applied pressure (force) and issued them (kidnappers) to release the abductees unconditionally.
“Subsequently, on the midnight of May 21, the seven victims were returned unharmed to us and they are currently with us,” he added.
The navy officer said troops were currently on the trail of Padei and his gang of kidnappers and assured of their arrest and prosecution in no time.
He called on members of the public to go about their legitimate businesses as the navy in collaboration with other security outfits has further secured the waterways in Rivers.
Narrating his ordeal, one of the rescued victims, Jude Ichikpro, 57, expressed gratitude to the Nigeria Navy for rescuing him and his fellow passengers from kidnappers.
The victim told the source that after their boat was intercepted, their abductors blindfolded and took them to an unknown area.
“We transited several hours by sea and later arrived at their camp which I am still not sure about the location.
“After we arrived at the camp, they gave us our phones to contact and inform our family members of our abduction.
“Thereafter, they demanded N350 million (N50 million each) for the seven of us to secure our release; threatening to kill anyone of us whose family did not pay their ransom.
“I was horrified and worried that I would be killed knowing that my family cannot raise such huge funds to secure my release. So, I kept praying fervently.
“The entire experience was horrific as they kept threatening us. I was overly worried knowing that my family cannot raise such huge sums of money to secure my release.
Ichikpro, a Delta State indigene, said that they were held for 12 days and fed with uncooked food; drank dirty and salty water and sometimes slept inside the swampy waters.
He said on the day of their rescue, he heard loud noise which he initially thought was from the villages shadowing the kidnappers’ den.
“But the sound became louder, and only then did I realise that it was from security men because I can hear their voices but I was terrified and confused at the same time.
“Moments later, some men came to where we were kept and requested for our identity. It was only then I realised that they were naval personnel.
Ichikpro said that the navy operatives later took them away for de-briefing.
“I am so grateful to God and the Nigeria Navy for coming to my rescue without paying even a Kobo ransom to my kidnappers,” he said.
2023 Presidency: Monarch Sues For Peaceful Conduct
A royal father in the Niger Delta, and the Mingi of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa State, King Edmond Dakoru, has urged the electorate in the South to maintain a peaceful disposition in the midst of provocation in the quest for a Southern President come 2023.
Dakoru, the former minister of petroleum, in an interview with aviation correspondents shortly on arrival, Wednesday, at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, observed that everywhere is tensed with the quest for a southern president.
He stated that no sacrifice is too small or big to make, if we want Nigeria to remain as one country, adding that any position that is good should not remain for one group.
“Whether the principle of zoning is enacted in Constitution or not, I think it’s ideal that it should be rotated between the North and South.
“We have actually operated in that principle. That is the principle that has kept us as one people since independence, and even the principle of national stread and Federal character.
“If a position is important enough, it should not remain in one particular section of country, and why dragging on and on for a long time on this southern president for 2023?
“Zone it to the southern part of the country, instead of raising political tension each time. The southern part will know where it is supposed to go among the three zones, and just leave them to decide.
“There should not be tension, no matter the provocation, but let the right thing be done. The unity of the country is important”, Dakoru said.
The royal father, however, noted that the size of any country matters, adding that Nigeria should not be fragmented, but should remain as one.
He also urged the electorates not to be misled by people who make provocative statements, saying that most of such people who make such statements, will run when they see crisis.
By: Corlins Walter
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